Thursday Afternoon at the Movies

Exhibit examines notions of beauty

The Freeark Gallery at Riverside Arts Center, 32 E. Quincy St., presents Riva Lehrer’s solo exhibition “Exquisite Radical,” featuring paintings and drawings that challenge conventional notions of beauty.

A Chicago-based artist, writer and activist for the disabled, Lehrer’s paintings have been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, Yale University Art Gallery and the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art.

The exhibition opens with a reception on Sunday, Sept. 4 from 3 to 6 p.m. The paintings and drawings will be on display at the gallery through Oct. 15. The reception is free to attend and open to the public.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Visit www.riversideartscenter.com for more.

The Great Tree-Bate

On the heels of Riverside being named an arboretum in 2015, the village’s Landscape Advisory Commission is in the midst of its campaign to name Riverside’s Official Tree, with the five “candidates” being red oak, white oak, bur oak, catalpa and black walnut.

With voting under way, the candidates will present their “stump speeches” and try to convince voters of their suitability to hold the high office of official tree during the Great Tree-Bate on Thursday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Great Room of the Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road.

Candidates’ statements will be fact-checked by Village Forester Michael Collins, who will also be available to answer questions.

To vote for your favorite candidate online, visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/2XYW653.

Explore the origins of Chicago

Walk back in time to Chicago’s beginnings during a free public tour of the Chicago Portage National Historic Site, 4800 S. Harlem Ave., on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 10 a.m.

Longtime tour guide Jeff Carter will explore the “birth story of Chicago” from the geological beginnings of the portage to how it continues to function today. Only one of two national historic sites in Illinois, the portage is the only place you can stand on the same ground walked by early explorers, settlers and creators of Chicago.

The tour is about a half-mile in length on a gravel path through the woods and will take two hours. Wear long pants and walking shoes or boots. The tour runs rain or shine.

Meet at the statue of Marquette and Joliet and their Native American guide. The site is on the west side of Harlem Avenue two blocks north of the Stevenson Expressway.

Little fest on the prairie

After checking out the tour of the Chicago Portage, you can continue to get your history fix at Prairie Fest on Saturday, Sept. 3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Dr. in Westchester on the northern edge of the Wolf Road Prairie.

The event will feature Civil War re-enactors, falconers, a quilt display, artists and crafters, live dulcimer music, a wool-spinning demonstration, genealogy consultation, food and more.

Visit www.savetheprairiesociety.org or call 708-354-5512.

Thursday Afternoon at the Movies

Riverside Township continues its weekly film series, Thursday Afternoon at the Movies, with a screening of the 1962 comedy-mystery The Notorious Landlady, starring Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon and Fred Astaire.

The movie is 123 minutes long and will be shown at the Riverside Township Hall, 27 Riverside Road in Riverside, on Thursday, Sept. 1 at 12:30 p.m. Admission is free.